Police in Tampa, Florida arrested a black man in his 50s for not
following orders. The man spent 36 hours on the floor of a jail cell
before being transferred to a hospital where he died 3 months later. Why
didn't Allen Daniel Hicks follow police orders? Because he was having a
Allen Daniel Hicks Dead: Stroke Death Of Inmate Sparks State Investigation
An inmate's death from an untreated stroke has prompted a $1 million settlement and a government investigation.
The Tampa Bay Times reports on the circumstances surrounding Allen Daniel Hicks' last days:
Hicks, 51, was arrested in May 2012 after veering off
Interstate 275 in Tampa. He was booked into jail without a medical
screening, rambling incoherently and dragging his left leg.
More than a full day passed — during much of which Hicks lay on the
floor of his cell or tried to crawl using only his right limbs — before
he was taken to Tampa General Hospital and immediately diagnosed with a
severe ischemic stroke. He slipped into a coma and died months later.
Police said they arrested Hicks because he failed to follow commands to get out of his vehicle.
Now the state's health department is launching an investigation into
Hicks' death which, the Times reports, will largely focus on the actions
of Armor Correctional Health Services Inc., a private company that has
been contracted to take care of Hillsborough prisoners.
The announcement of the investigation comes the same month that
Hicks' family agreed to a $1 million settlement with the Hillsborough
County Sheriff's Office and Armor, according to WFLA.
"You should be able to get help from medical personnel and police
officers and not be taken to jail, and we feel the highway patrol and
EMT should have much better training on recognizing stroke victims,"
attorney Paul Rebein, who represented Hicks' family, said.
In previous comments to The Huffington Post,
David Fathi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union
National Prison Project, said the government is constitutionally
required to protect prisoners' health. “Prison officials have a duty
under the Constitution to provide prisoners with adequate medical care,"
Fathi said in an email. "When they violate that duty, the results can
Companies looking out for their bottom lines have no business providing services to prisoners, according to Fathi.
"We believe that incarceration is a uniquely governmental function
that should never be contracted out to private, for-profit
corporations," Fathi said. "When you combine the profit motive with
limited oversight and an unpopular, politically powerless group like
prisoners, it’s a recipe for bad outcomes.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/allen-daniel-hicks-dead-stroke-inmate-investigation_n_3671121.html